Archive for September, 2013

September 26 (Week 6): Asylums across the Atlantic: Insanity, Colonialism, and Community

This week we will focus on the transatlantic asylum movement: its goals, its connections to colonialism, and the interaction between asylums and communities.  We will also consider the importance of asylums within disability history and historiography.

Please use the comment function to post two discussion questions about this week’s readings by Thursday at 2 pm.  Focus on intriguing or controversial points in the readings that you think will spark discussion.  Strong discussion questions are open-ended, engage with major points in author(s)’ arguments, and are not factual in nature.

Please also post one of the following:

  • a short description (1-3 sentences) of your “muddiest point,” that is, what important point of the author’s argument did you have trouble grasping
  • your “most interesting connection” for this week’s reading

If you refer to a specific point or quote in one of the readings, please provide the author and page number.

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READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 26

1)     Michel Foucault, “The Great Confinement” in Madness & Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, pp. 38-64 (MavSpace)

2)     Jonathan Sadowsky, Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness in Colonial Southwest Nigeria (University of California Press, 1999)

3)     Richard C. Keller, “Pinel in the Maghreb: Liberation, Confinement, and Psychiatric Reform in French North Africa,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 79:3 (2005): 459-99 (MavSpace)

4)     James E. Moran, “Asylum in the Community: Managing the Insane in Antebellum America,” History of Psychiatry (1998): 217-240 (MavSpace)

September 19 (Week 5): Imagining Communities: Debating Deaf Education

This week we will focus on the ways in which people with and without disabilities have created imagined communities through disability, using debates over deaf education and Deaf communities as a case study.

Please use the comment function to post two discussion questions about this week’s readings by Thursday at 2 pm.  Focus on intriguing or controversial points in the readings that you think will spark discussion.  Strong discussion questions are open-ended, engage with major points in author(s)’ arguments, and are not factual in nature.

Please also post one of the following:

  • a short description (1-3 sentences) of your “muddiest point,” that is, what important point of the author’s argument did you have trouble grasping
  • your “most interesting connection” for this week’s reading

If you refer to a specific point or quote in one of the readings, please provide the author and page number.

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READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 19

1)     R. A. R. Edwards, Words Made Flesh: Nineteenth Century Deaf Education and the Growth of Deaf Culture (NYU Press, 2012)

2)     Leila Monaghan, “A World’s Eye View: Deaf Cultures in Global Perspective,” in Many Ways to Be Deaf: International Variation in Deaf Communities, ed. Leila Monaghan et al (Gallaudet University Press, 2003), pp. 1-24 (MavSpace)

3)     Choose one of these case studies to read:

  • William O. McCagg, Jr., “Some Problems in the History of Deaf Hungarians,” in Deaf History Unveiled, pp. 252-271 (MavSpace)
  • Iain Hutchinson, “Oralism: A Sign of the Times? The Contest for Deaf Communication in Education Provision in Late Nineteenth-Century Scotland,” European Review of History—Revue européenne d’Histoire 14, no. 4 (December 2007): 481-501 (MavSpace)
  • Anne T. Quartararo, “Republicanism, Deaf Identity, and the Career of Henri Gaillard in Late-Nineteenth-Century France,” in Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship, ed. John Vickrey Van Cleve (Gallaudet University Press, 1993), pp. 40-52 (MavSpace)

September 12 (Week 4): The Spectacle of the Disabled “Other”

This week we will focus on the ways in which disability has historically been used to construct hierarchies and “the other.”  Our discussions will focus on three examples: slavery, debates over women’s reproduction and civilization, and the spectacle of  freak shows.

Please use the comment function to post two discussion questions about this week’s readings by Thursday at 2 pm.  Focus on intriguing or controversial points in the readings that you think will spark discussion.  Strong discussion questions are open-ended, engage with major points in author(s)’ arguments, and are not factual in nature.

Please also post one of the following:

  • a short description (1-3 sentences) of your “muddiest point,” that is, what important point of the author’s argument did you have trouble grasping
  • your “most interesting connection” for this week’s reading

If you refer to a specific point or quote in one of the readings, please provide the author and page number.

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READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 12

Slavery & Disability

1)     Douglas C. Baynton, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History,” in The New Disability History, pp. 33-57 (MavSpace)

2)      “‘Refuse Slaves’ and the Slave Trade,” in Nielsen, A Disability History of the United States, pp. 41-47 (MavSpace)

3)     Dea Boster, “‘I Made Up My Mind to Act Both Deaf and Dumb: Displays of Disability and Slave Resistance in the Antebellum American South,” in Disability and Passing: Blurring the Lines of Identity, ed. Jeffrey A. Brune and Daniel J. Wilson (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013), 71-98 (MavSpace)


Gender, Monsters, and Savages

1)     Laura Briggs, “The Race of Hysteria: ‘Overcivilization’ and the ‘Savage’ woman in Late Nineteenth-Century Obstetrics and Gynecology,” American Quarterly 52, no. 5 (June 2000): 246-273 (MavSpace)

2)     Philip K. Wilson, “Eighteenth-Century ‘Monsters’ and Nineteenth-Century ‘Freaks’:  Reading the Maternally Marked Child,” Literature and Medicine 21, no. 1 (Spring 2002):  1-25 (MavSpace)


Freak Shows & the Gaze

1)     Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, “Why Do We Stare?” in Staring: How We Look (Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 3-11 (MavSpace)

2)     “Introduction: Exhibiting Freaks” in Nadja Durbach, Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture (University of California Press, 2010), pp. 1-32 (MavSpace)

3)     Choose one case study to read

  • Holly E. Martin, “Cheng and Eng Bunker, ‘The Original Siamese Twins’: Living, Dying, and Continuing under the the Spectator’s Gaze,” The Journal of American Culture 34, no. 4 (December 2011): 372-388 (MavSpace)
  • Filip Herza, “‘Tiny Artists from the Big World’: The Rhetoric of Representing Extraordinary Bodies during the Singer Midgets’ 1928 Tour in Prague,” in Exploring the Cultural History of Continental European Freak Shows & ‘Enfreakment’, ed. Anna Kérchy and Andrea Zittlau (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), pp. 193-210 (MavSpace)

September 5 (Week 3): Disability and the Enlightenment

This week we will focus on the place of disability in Enlightenment thought and the impact of the Enlightenment on conceptions of disability and the experiences of people with disabilities.

Please use the comment function to post two discussion questions about this week’s readings by Thursday at 2 pm.  Focus on intriguing or controversial points in the readings that you think will spark discussion.  Strong discussion questions are open-ended, engage with major points in author(s)’ arguments, and are not factual in nature.

Please also post one of the following:

  • a short description (1-3 sentences) of your “muddiest point,” that is, what important point of the author’s argument did you have trouble grasping
  • your “most interesting connection” for this week’s reading

If you refer to a specific point or quote in one of the readings, please provide the author and page number.

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READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 5

1)  Ernest Freeberg, The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language (Harvard University Press, 2001)

2)  Lennard J. Davis, “Constructing Normalcy,” in The Disability Studies Reader, Third Edition, pp. 3-19 (MavSpace)